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Being a Stranger in Stranger in a Village

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Being the new kid in school or even being the new kid on a sports or club team. It’s an odd feeling because most people will say they feel like they have “no one” in a brand new situation. Although finding yourself in a brand new situation is often tough the greatest choice one can make is to find the greatest good if possible and make the best of it. Not only does have an optimistic outlook improve your ability to think and act clearly but it shows others you are confident and worthy of respect at most.

One of the times I could say I saw myself being a stranger in the village would be at a hockey camp in waterloo Iowa and when I got there I knew nobody and I had to kind of assert myself into a group of boys. I needed to make friends get some pucks passes to me so I could show the coaches what I can do but also I did not want the week to go by extremely slow with no friends to hang out or chat with.

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Another one of the times I felt as if I was a stranger in the village was talking to a stranger on a train. As I was on the train, waiting to meet my friend at Times Square, I decided to complete the task. As I boarded the train, I observed the vast amounts of civil interaction being displayed on the train. Many people were on the train were on their cell phones, tablets, books, and newspapers. Considering how I rarely take the train, I decided to use this particular opportunity to break the social norm. Fortunately, breaking this social norm led to no negative consequences.

At the time, the man was wearing a Syracuse University hoodie, a Knicks snapback. At the same time, he was wearing Nike basketball sweatpants. Immediately, I deducted the man potentially has an interest in basketball. Both articles of clothing were potential indicators he plays basketball, enjoys basketball, likes the Knicks, or attends Syracuse University. His apparel provided a symbol of the culture of basketball and the culture of education. I decided to use these symbols as a way to ignite a hypothesis in my mind in which I planned to use to start the conversation. My hypothesis was if whether or not asking an open-ended question about the symbols provided will lead to a long-term conversation with an individual I have no affiliation with. I decided to put my hypothesis to the test. I chose to ask the question: “So, how about the Knicks?”. The man looked to his left and replied with only “I hate the Knicks and I only wear these because I have to” instantly I regretted asking the question.

I had thought way too long about whether or not the man had an interest in the knicks to consider anything else about the situation and I sat in silence for the rest of the way back across to where my hotel was stationed. Sometimes when you are a stranger in a situation you have to realize that you might not be the only stranger and that being positive and having an optimistic outlook on most situations will be a great choice.    

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